Here are some ways to explore your faith this season...
Special One Time Opportunities:
March 28 Quiet Day: We will take some time apart to pause for the purpose of refreshment. Our retreat will be led by Jennie Isbell Shinn, a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and a spiritual director who works with individuals and groups. We will gather from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Whiteman Room for quiet, reflection, prayer, and spiritual direction. Please bring a brown bag lunch, so we can stay on campus and share lunch together. There are 30 spots available, and there is a suggested $15 donation. Register for this event.
Grow in Faith Gathering (March): The Ash Wednesday liturgy in the Prayer Book invites us to “a holy Lent”. What does “a holy Lent” look like to each of us in 2020? How do we balance and integrate prayer, learning, letting go of the habits that hamper our relationships with God, and growing in the habits that draw us closer to God? Join us for conversation from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Meeting Room.
Grow in Faith Gathering (April): Join us on April 5, as we are entering Holy Week, to look at and discuss the ways artists have depicted the crucifixion from 13th century frescos to politically-oriented contemporary depictions of the crucifixion. Because of the combined service at 9, we will meet from 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Meeting Room.
Wednesday Chapel Services: Join us in All Saints Chapel for Holy Eucharist on Wednesdays in Lent at 9 a.m. starting February 25. Each week will feature a different meditation from Are We There Yet? Pilgrimage in the Season of Lent, and will be followed by coffee in the office.
Lenten Book Group: will be meeting during Lent on Sundays at 9 a.m. starting March 1. On March 1 and 8 we will be in the office, while for the remainder of Lent we will meet in the Whiteman Room. We will be reading Dust Bunnies in the Basket by Tim Schenck. Available online or by calling Forward Movement at 800.543.1813 for $10 per book. Sign up outside the chapel/ winter sanctuary or by emailing the office (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have any questions please contact Josie (email@example.com) or Elise (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Stations of the Cross: If you are interested in walking the stations of the cross, feel free to do so whenever the church building is open (generally from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m where the archway entrance is kept unlocked). You can access the stations by entering the church through the front doors. Booklets to guide you are available near the baptismal font, next to the first station hanging on the wall.
Ongoing Bible Study Opportunities:
Emmaus Companions Bible Study: On Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in the Whiteman Room, Emmaus Companions offers a bible study where folks from SsJA, community members, and those on the margins gather together to reflect on scripture. To learn more, contact Steve Houghton at email@example.com.
Bible Study for Nerds: Bible Study for Nerds: “Bible Study for Nerds” meets from 5:30-6:30 PM on Thursdays, usually once a month. Embracing the Anglican tradition of employing reason in the encounter with biblical material, the group focuses on analytic study of biblical texts (chosen according to the interests of participants,) comparing and connecting texts and exploring their historical context. If this sounds like an approach you’d like to try in understanding the Bible better, Rev. Molly (firstname.lastname@example.org) can provide information about when the next meeting is scheduled and what the group is reading.
Signs of Life: You can pick up a lenten daily practice calendar outside the office, download one, or participate in the Signs of Life program, offered by the Society of St. John the Evangelist and Virginia Theological Seminary. Learn more.
Lent Madness (The Saintly Smack Down): Based loosely on the NCAA basketball tournament, Lent Madness pits thirty-two saints against one another in a single-elimination bracket to see who will win "the Golden Halo". The process is also a fun and informative way to learn about saints. Each weekday (beginning February 27) information is posted at www.lentmadness.org about two different saints, and participants have 24 hours to vote for the saint to move forward to the next round until the eventual winner is determined. If you don't want to participate online you can pick up a "Saintly Scorecard" outside the office to learn more about the saints and follow who is winning in the tournament on the large poster on the bulletin board. If you’re looking for a Lenten discipline that is fun, educational, occasionally goofy, and always joyful, join the Lent Madness journey.
Brother, Give Us A Word: Monasticism began when a few faithful men and women went into the desert to seek God and live a life of prayer. These Desert Fathers and Mothers, as they became known, were spiritual beacons whom others sought out for their wisdom in the ways of God. The seeker would approach and ask, "Father (Mother), give me a word." The Brothers of SSJE have adapted this ancient tradition for today, offering online a daily "word" to all who seek a deeper knowledge of God, a means of handing on what we ourselves have received. You might use each day's word as a focus for your prayer. To subscribe.
We will gather for our annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Tuesday, February 25 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. The cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children under 10. While we dine on pancakes, sausages, and real maple syrup, we will also have an "UnTalent Show' where you can share some unknown talent you might have. This year, we will also have a karaoke machine. Let us know you will be attending the meal and/or performing in the show by signing up outside the chapel/winter sanctuary or by emailing the office.
Dear People of Saints James and Andrew,
It is with great joy that I write to share Jason A. Burns, who grew up at former St. Andrew's and then transitioned to former St. James in late 2012, will be ordained to the sacred order of deacons on March 7, 2020 at 11 a.m. at All Saints in South Hadley. Jason graduated from the Province 1 School for Deacons in 2019, and has spent time serving St. John's in Northampton and St. Philip's in Easthampton.
Let's all journey to All Saints in South Hadley to celebrate this sacred moment for Jason, Kevin Antonio Smallwood, and for the whole Church.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Heather J. Blais,
By the Grace of God
and the consent of the people
The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher
IX Bishop of Western Mass.
Jason A Burns
Kevin Antonio Smallwood
to the Sacred Order of Deacons
in Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
on Saturday March 7, 2020
at 11:00 in the morning
All Saints Episcopal Church
7 Woodbridge Street, South Hadley, MA 01075